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Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Shaving is something that most men do every day but seldom give much thought to. That said, putting a little effort into your hair removal routine can yield dividends in added comfort and improved skin. Turn your morning chore into a spa-like indulgence with these simple tips:

Pre-Shave

While most men are accustomed to just slopping on some drug store shaving foam and hacking away at their morning stubble, a good pre-shave routine can improve both the quality of your shave and dramatically reduce any irritation to your precious face.

1. Take a HOT shower

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    While many of us rely on a hot shower in the morning to shock us into consciousness, steaming up the bathroom can also be a great first step in your shaving routine. Steam causes the pores in your face to relax and the skin to soften, allowing your razor to slide smoothly across your morning mug.

    2. Soften your beard

    While in the shower, apply a generous coating of hair conditioner into your beard and work it in with your fingertips. Let the conditioner stay on your beard for a couple of minutes, allowing it to soften the hair on your face.

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    3. Use a Pre-Shave Oil

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      Once you get out of the shower, your beard and the skin underneath it will be soft and supple, and by applying a layer of pre-shave oil, you can help to keep it that way by locking in the moisture. In addition, oil helps to lubricate the blade as it moves across the contours of your face, reducing nicks and irritation. While you can buy specialty shaving oils, you can also use plain old olive, coconut, canola or just about any other oil that you can think of… save for that which goes in your car.

      Shave Time

      Finally, the main event! Now that your face is good and ready, we can get out the razor and begin the precision process of shaving.

      4. Use a sharp blade

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        Whether you rock a straight edge blade, DE safety razor or a plain old Mach 3 disposal, the important thing is that whatever you use is sharp. With razor cartridge prices being as insanely high as they are, you can see why some dudes opt to reuse the same blade for three months straight, until it is basically just tearing the hair from their face… don’t be that guy, it is not worth the money you are saving. Change blades as soon as they start to drag across your beard as opposed to gliding smoothly. Most disposable blades are only good for a week’s worth of shaving, sometimes less. If you find that changing your razor cartridges that often is bleeding you dry, consider switching to a double edge safety razor, the blades are ultra sharp and dirt cheap.

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        5. Apply a high quality shaving cream

        Ditch that old can of Barbasol and pick up a high quality shaving cream made with all natural ingredients that will not only improve your shave but nourish your skin. Avoid any product that contains parabens or silicone. If you want a real treat, try using a high quality badger or boar hair shaving brush to get a really good lather going, you will thank me.

        6. Use short strokes

        There is a common shaving misconception that it is better to make long, continuous strokes, from upper cheek to the bottom of your neck. In actuality, you are better off with short precise strokes which allow you to better control the amount of downward pressure you are placing on your razor, which helps limit irritation.

        7. First, shave with the grain

        On your first run, shave in the direction of your hair growth. This will help you to remove the bulk of the hair and cause minimal irritation.

        8. Then shave across and against the grain

        After your initial shave, reapply shaving cream and completely clean your razor before shaving across the grain and then finally against the grain for a super close shave that might just keep your five o’clock shadow at bay for a few extra hours.

        Post-Shave

        Now that the hard part is over, there are just a few more steps to make sure that your money-maker looks great after losing its hairy top coat.

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        9. Rinse your face with cold water

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          Remove any remaining shaving cream or pre-shave oil by splashing your face with cold water, which will close your pores and tighten the skin of your face.

          10. Use an Alum Block

          Go buy an alum block… it’s okay, we’ll wait. Alright, now wet that alum block and gently run it across your freshly shaved face and prepare to feel every spot that you nicked just moments earlier. Alum is a mild antiseptic that will help to instantly seal any minor cuts while cooling and refreshing your skin.

          11. Apply a toner

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            Splash a little witch hazel or any other high quality toner onto your skin and wipe it off with a cotton pad to remove any excess oils form your skin.

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            12. Moisturize

            If your skin feels dry after your shaving routine, be sure to apply a moisturizer, preferably one with SPF protection to the dry areas and work it in gently with your fingertips.

            Congratulations! You look awesome and there are no little bits of toilet paper currently stuck to your face… Welcome to paradise.

            What do you think? Share your shaving secrets in the comments.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Thompson / Classic safety razor via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on July 8, 2020

            18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

            18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

            The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

            1. Understand Yourself Better

            Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

            Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

            2. Keep Track of Small Changes

            I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

            Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

            3. Become Aware of What Matters

            As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

            You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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            4. Boost Creativity

            The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

            When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

            You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

            5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

            A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

            Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

            6. Process Life Experiences

            When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

            Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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            7. Stress Relief

            In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

            Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

            8. Provide Direction

            Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

            One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

            9. Solve Problems

            Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

            Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

            When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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            10. Find Relief From Fighting

            Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

            Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

            11. Find Meaning in Life

            Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

            12. Allow Yourself to Focus

            Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

            13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

            When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

            14. Let the Past Go

            I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

            15. Allow Freedom

            Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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            16. Enhance Your Career

            Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

            Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

            17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

            All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

            18. Catalog Your Life for Others

            No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

            We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

            Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

            Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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